TN: Centerstone client records swept away in flood waters

On July 2, Centerstone issued the following press release:

Pursuant to Federal Regulations 45CFR464.406 we are providing this notice of a potential breach of Protected Health Information to the media. Centerstone has made every attempt to notify any clients affected by this privacy breach by telephone call and/or first class letter prior to this notification.

During the weekend of April 30, 2010, flood waters broke windows of our Administrative office for School-Based Services located at 915 Rosa Parks Blvd, in Nashville, Tennessee. This office remained under five feet of water for over a week and Metro Police quarantined the area. Centerstone employees were not allowed to inspect premises until May 13. As a result of the unprecedented flooding that occurred, some clinical record information, along with name, Centerstone ID#, Social Security number, and date of birth, may have been removed from the building by the flood waters.

All possible efforts have been made to secure any files, electronic and/or paper, that remained in the building and to determine whether any files containing Protected Health Information (PHI) may have been removed by the flood waters. The contents of the building including file cabinets, desks, lap top computers, phones, and all related equipment and supplies presented as a total loss and unrecoverable. At this time we have no information to suggest that information lost in the flooding has been accessed or used in a manner that will cause harm to any persons, however, because we have been unable to recover the items swept away or damaged by the flood waters, we cannot be sure that this has not nor will not happen. Therefore, we are taking every precaution to notify clients seen in our School-Based Services division.

Centerstone sincerely regrets this possible breach of the privacy and security of protected health information. If you feel you may be impacted and have questions about your privacy or potential risk of identity theft, or would like information about receiving fraud protection, please see our contact Scott Valentine directly at 1-888-460-4001 or by email [email protected] You may also contact Scott Valentine at Centerstone Health Information Management: PO Box 281107, Nashville, TN 37228-8502.

According to its notification to the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, 1,537 clients were affected by the incident.

Centerstone’s web site describes it as:

the nation’s largest not-for-profit provider of community-based behavioral healthcare, offering a full range of mental health services, substance abuse treatment and related educational services in Indiana and Tennessee. In 2008, we served 64,000 individuals and families at our more than 120 facilities. We seek to prevent and cure mental illness and addiction.

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